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Old 26 September 2004, 05:48   #1
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Caledonian canal

Can anyone tell me some useful tips for going through the Caledonian canal by rib. I know a lot of ribs have been through during the scottish cruises so their is heaps of knowledge out there, example:
How long would you expect to take (average) ??Inverness-Fort bill
Any spots that are must see that are off the main track
Any good pubs/places to stay
Months/time to avoid
Any places that are worth spending a bit of time (west coast gems)
re-fuelling spots

Cheers
Steve
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Old 26 September 2004, 07:23   #2
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Yes, I'd like to know too. And, is it possible to deal with the locks single handedly?
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Old 26 September 2004, 08:31   #3
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See the link for info!

http://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/

Looks like a minimum of 5.5 hours passage plus 5 hours in the locks, you can't do it in one day! the site says minimum 14 hours, guess a rib can shave a bit off that in the lochs.

I've travelled on canals a few time (not in a rib) and you really need 2 people, one to operate the lock and one to tend the boat. Anything's possible though, remember that the caledonian canal is one of the larges canals in the UK and the locks are large. EDIT: Ignore this, just looked at the site myself and all locks / bridges are automated on the caledonian.

Jwalker think you're based on the Clyde? The Crinan canal runs through some beautiful scenery, and a few pubs / hotels alongside it. Would make a good stop on a weekend trip for you! I walked along it when I was living in Glasgow a few years ago.
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Old 26 September 2004, 12:58   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roohairy
Jwalker think you're based on the Clyde? The Crinan canal runs through some beautiful scenery,
Roohairy, I know the link but thanks anyway.

No, I'm on the east. A month's pass will allow the trip up the east, through the Caly, down the west coast, Crinan and back to the east through the Forth & Clyde and home to the doorstep.
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Old 26 September 2004, 20:12   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwalker
A month's pass will allow the trip up the east, through the Caly, down the west coast, Crinan and back to the east through the Forth & Clyde and home to the doorstep.
Wish I was coming with you!
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Old 27 September 2004, 03:52   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roohairy
you can't do it in oneday!
Oh yes you can, but its a long day and you will be averaging 25 knots down the canal . Still feel sorry for some old bloke fishing from a dinghy moored to the bank. 6 ribs shot round a corner and didn't see him until the last minute, the wash nearly tipped him in The lock keepers were curious why we only had a day licence too

Take some long warps and fenders, but lock keepers friendly-ish.

Bouyage changes half way along the canal just as you exit a lock going West, really confusing you are faced with a red post in the middle of the loch and have a choice, left or right around the post. (The Starboard marker is missing)

Pete
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Old 27 September 2004, 05:10   #7
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[QUOTE=Pete7]
Quote:
Originally Posted by roohairy
you can't do it in oneday! /QUOTE]

Oh yes you can, but its a long day and you will be averaging 25 knots down the canal .
Pete
And you have to be really lucky with your arrival time at locks. It is really easy to lose loads of time.

We did it a few years ago, leaving the Orkneys early in time to get in to the canal at Inverness at 1030 before the lack of tide beat us. So we got in to the canal alright but were then immediately stuck whilst the lock keepers went for lunch. We stopped at Drumnadrochit for the night, and with hindsight we should have pressed on and got through the Fort Augustus locks before stopping.

ALthough we were on the go the next day in reasonable time we just missed the locking up at Fort Augustus so waited a long time for the next lift. After that we made it as far as the top of Neptune's Staircase before the lock keepers finished for the day. So it actually took us two days get right the way through.

It was raining most of the time, and the spped limit made it a real pain. Mile after mile on tickover is not an exciting prospect. You can't really break the speed limit because they time you between locks and you will get a bolliking at the least if you're too early. Very cunning

I'm not rushing back.

Allen
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Old 27 September 2004, 06:18   #8
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So we got in to the canal alright but were then immediately stuck whilst the lock keepers went for lunch.....
...ALthough we were on the go the next day in reasonable time we just missed the locking up at Fort Augustus so waited a long time for the next lift.

Allen, is all the locking done by the keepers, ie. you stay in your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen
I'm not rushing back.
You need to slow down your pace of life.
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Old 28 September 2004, 05:11   #9
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The keepers work all the lock gates. All you have to do is sort out your mooring lines.

Don't forget you need to produce your insurance certificate when paying the transit fee.

Allen
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Old 28 September 2004, 07:00   #10
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Cool. Ta.
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